I recently read that Kristen Stewart's going to be in a film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and I am pissed.
I'm not upset to hear that Stewart has picked up the role of Dean Moriarty's wife; I actually think this is a good direction for her. As of yet, she's avoided being typecast as the awkward teen/manic dream pixie girl, and choosing what are technically two period pieces in a row is a huge step in continuing her pigeon-holing prevention.
My first real problem with this movie is the fact that it's a book adaptation, which in itself is not a travesty. However, in the context of today's movie listings, in which it is virtually impossible to find a film that is not an adaptation or remake of something else, it is infuriating. I'll come back to this later.
I read On the Road about five years ago, so I'm certainly no expert, but from what I remember, the book has a very distinctive style and aless-than-compelling plot. It's pretty much "We went there, did drugs, and got drunk. Then we went over there, did more drugs, and got drunk again," for a little over three hundred pages. At the time of its publication, it was essentially the manifesto of Kerouac's beat movement and the source of inspiration for many poets, writers, and musicians. When I read it, it was like having a hungover friend recall their night for hours on end. While I can blame my view of the worth of the book on generational discrepancy, I cannot be convinced that a Hollywood revamp of the plot is going to make it any more watchable than the beatnik scene in Hairspray. Not. Gonna. Happen.
Thirdly, I'm pissed because hipsters everywhere are going to eat this shit up. Since the dawn of man, it has been known as fact that in any subculture which espouses the glory of nonconformity, it doesn't take long for certain standards to be set to which participants then rigidly conform. Often, this tends to make them fanny pack-wearing douchebags. Current hipsters will weep at the beauty of the film into their flannel shirts and start writing their Government homework on scrolls, and Twihards, brought to the film with hopes that Dean Moriarty will be sparkly, will quickly switch from Team Jacob to Team Allen Ginsberg. Perhaps I judge too much, especially for someone with an Edward Cullen bookmark and a homemade cat shirt.
P.S. You know the song "I Loved the Way She Said L.A." by Spitalfield? Yeah, that's a quote from On the Road. That's always bothered me.